New Zealand TV

6-part megachurch drama Testify premieres on TVNZ2 next Monday (April 8) and continuing on Tuesday April 9. Production company Warner Bros. International Television Production will bring the series to MipTV in Cannes next week.

3 Likes

Not sure how we missed this - alleged plans to close TV3 after next year:

https://www.thepress.co.nz/business/350229951/tv3-owner-expected-go-internet-only-after-next-year-minister-advised

Television channel Three owner Warner Bros Discovery had been planning to switch off its New Zealand television broadcasts in favour of streaming all of its programmes over the internet after next year, a document reveals.

Warner Bros Discovery would not confirm on Thursday whether that remained its thinking.

An aide memoire produced by the Culture and Heritage Ministry in December for Broadcasting Minister Melissa Lee stated that Warner Bros Discover had advised it would need to move to an internet-only service “beyond 2025”.

2 Likes

Could mean any time after 2025. It’s a bit vague, I wouldn’t read too much into it (yet).

2 Likes

This is where we are heading. I think one of the Australian networks will do the same in the next few years.

1 Like

Australian drama series Bay of Fires, filmed entirely in Tasmania and co-produced by and starring Marta Dusseldorp, started last night on TVNZ1. It airs at around 11pm Sundays, but the entire season can be binged on TVNZ+. A second season is in development.

This lines up with the article I posted last week, though they put mid-2025 (but what’s six months between friends?).

What I’m slightly confused about - and I know we’ve discussed this a bit before - is that if Max is launching in Australia, surely it would make sense to also expand that to NZ? Obviously WBD will know the numbers MUCH better than I do(!) - but on the face of it, it would seem a no-brainer if they could piggyback off the infrastructure for Australia? Someone like @OnAir or @medianz will have a better idea than me, though.

1 Like

That would definitely align.
I’m still unconvince if Max will ever end up in NZ though.

3 Likes

IF Warners decide to launch Max in NZ (and as discussed it’s not necessarily likely), I wonder if this would give Three and its siblings a reprieve? Fill them with repeats, inventory and the odd HBO show and you’ve got channels that, as you say, cost very little to run and basically act as free advertising for Max. Then when the time’s right, close the linear channels and just have Max.

If they were to launch Max in New Zealand they’d have to choose between replacing ThreeNow or ending what has been quite a lucrative deal with Sky and Neon, both options which seem way off in the cards right now.

2 Likes

You’re spot-on @LiamP. I heard/read something recently even Disney are revising some of their exclusive content in overseas markets and offering them to local players… it’s no different to WBD keeping a reliable revenue stream by keeping in cahoots with Sky.
Like I said about Newshub a month or so ago; without a shop window to see what’s on offer, why bother going into the store?

2 Likes

Who’s to say ThreeNow will stay, anyway? Not much point having a catchup service named after a channel you’ve just closed down…

Going back to this:

Assuming the rumours about Three closing down are true, I wonder if WBD have decided the ad revenue just isn’t worth it anymore?

As per that Post article, we know the transmission fees for DTT alone are $5.2 million. We know ad spend is way down. We know they’re getting rid of what is by far their schedule’s biggest anchor.

Without Newshub, without all other local productions, what reason is there for viewers to tune in? Repeats? Imports? No, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced we are seeing WBD wind down Three.

This is it - the final curtain. In - let’s say… 18 months’ time, TV3 will be something we talk about purely in the past tense.

1 Like

Also (repeated from the Newshub thread):

WBD will leave Flower Street as soon as they are able. If +HR=E survives past 2025 - and as I explained above, I don’t think it will - playout will move Stateside (or wherever their other channels are played from).

1 Like

Looks like news isn’t the only thing TVNZ’s taking a close look at

https://www.stuff.co.nz/nz-news/350239818/live-shortland-streets-future-unclear-says-producer

Shortland Street’s future ‘unclear’, says producer

TVNZ is “looking very hard” at Shortland Street, and its future is “unclear”, said Kelly Martin, CEO of South Pacific Pictures.

“We have been in conversations for a while,” Martin, whose company produces the long-running TVNZ 2 soap, told Stuff.

“It’s definitely something that’s up for discussion and I don’t know what the outcome of those discussions would be.”

The show was fully produced “not as far in advance as I would like,” Martin said.

She spoke to Stuff in the wake of a TVNZ restructure that will see Fair Go, Sunday, and the Midday and Tonight news bulletins cancelled effective mid-May, and the shuttering of rival operation Newshub in its entirety.

TVNZ has been approached for comment.

Shortland Street, which will tick over 32 years on air in May, is New Zealand’s longest-running drama series and regularly the top-rated show on TVNZ 2.

5 Likes

Oh come on, surely it’s on life support

5 Likes

It must be, there was that report that SPP commissioned themselves to outline the impact the show has had but that just seemed like a collection of evidence to make a case for financial funding. I wouldn’t think the revenue from TVNZ+ would cover the cost of production and the current FTA ratings probably wouldn’t.

1 Like

It would be a hard one to axe when this is supposedly all about a transition to a digital future. FTA is sure well down on what it used to be, but Unless its changed recently, SS used to be one of the most watched shows on TVNZ+.

Are they not ever seeing a recovery of advertising $$? What is it they say, 90 cents in every dollar goes offshore…? not sure axing local show after show is going to entice advertisers to spend locally when things do pick up again…

1 Like

Really interesting Stuff article showing just how much news we’ll be losing by July

https://www.stuff.co.nz/nz-news/350241783/what-free-air-tv-will-look-come-july-6

2 Likes

Do they not sell the rights to overseas territories still? Maybe that’s what’s keeping it viable.

Tbh this sounds to me like something of a scare story. I suspect they will just cut the number of episodes per week, and then people can say “phew. At least it wasn’t cancelled completely”.

They do, but I’m not sure if they get as many sales as they once did. Though Amazon now holds the UK rights, which is interesting. IF the worst happens, wonder if they might do a Neighbours…

1 Like

The big issue really is that no one in the target audience watches TVNZ2 anymore, so they’re battling to get eyeballs there.

They’ve moved to rerunning it after Tonight on TVNZ1 in recent times to try amortise costs. From what I heard it’s still one of the biggest hitters on TVNZ+ but that may not entirely pay the bills.

7 Likes